Gill-ty? Prosecutor to meet Tuesday with ODNR over fishing tournament controversy

Lake Erie walleye tournament saga takes a legal turn on the scales of justice.
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 12:55 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Two men who allegedly used lead weights to win the Lake Erie Walleye Trail competition may soon be gutted by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor.

“My staff will be meeting with officers from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources today regarding this matter,” according to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley. “I take all crime seriously including attempted felony theft at a fishing tournament. These individuals will be held accountable.

There are a number of legal issues that will have to be weighed out in the case, meaning any announcement of possible charges could take some time.

With anglers trying to net thousands in prize money, the prosecutor appears to be baiting the hook for felony theft charges.

There is also the potential for cruelty to animal charges as 12-ounce weights were shoved down the mouths of the fish before they were weighed, not to mention fillets of other fish.

If the weights were put in the fish out in Lake Erie, who has legal jurisdiction?

Case Western Reserve School of Law professor Michael Benza did a live talkback with Cleveland 19 on the legality the case that smells pretty fishy.